Italian crooner Klaus Bellavitis injects swinging Sinatra-esque jazz with good-natured humor

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Klaus Bellavitis
(Milan, Italy)—Even when he's in a “Bad Mood," such as on the opening track of his 2008 album, Jazz for Sale,Klaus Bellavitis is swinging away, his deep croon sometimes tossing comic darts or flirtatious come-ons. Bellavitis offers blue-eyed soul for the 21st century, reinvigorating Frank Sinatra-styled vocal jazz with sly wit, a dash of European charm, and enough rambunctious energy to light up a city. Bellavitis is scheduled to release a new album, Change, this month; currently being mastered, the CD further cements his outrageous take on orchestral music with his quite virtuoso pianist skills, orchestra arranger, director and vocal interpreter.

Bellavitis' last album was Jazz for Sale, a collection of humorous and highly entertaining Rat Pack-esque songs that were faithful to its musical roots yet irreverent in their approach. Instead of subscribing to Michael Bublé's earnest delivery, Bellavitis played it loose and unpredictable, hopelessly romantic and sentimental on “We Are Not Young Anymore" but hysterically funny on “Let's Have Sex Tonight." Bellavitis' veering from smooth operator to an almost self-parodying personality makes him more contemporary and hip, giving him cross-generational appeal. Would Sinatra have sung a tune like “Save the Pigeons, Shoot the Mother-in-Law"? Most likely not, but these are different times that Bellavitis is catering to. And Bellavitis' medley of Queen's rousing “We Are the Champions" with Miles Davis “So What" is given a drunken, slow-tempo makeover that sounds like what happened after the champions partied all night.

Bellavitis was the first Italian to graduate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in 1988. Upon completion, Bellavitis started working as an arranger/composer for the film industry, including advertising and documentaries. He formed the Jazz for Sale Quintet six years ago with saxophonist Tullio Ricci, pianist Claudio Pozzi, guitarist Giampiero Spina, bassist Massimo Ciaccio, and drummer Michele Salgarello. The Jazz for Sale album was recorded in both Italy and Las Vegas, NV, and features top-drawer guests including Sinatra's trumpet player Walter Blanton.

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